Labeling with a No-Label Look
Want a way to make a product's label look great? One answer is to make it look like there's no label.
THE CLEAR, NO-LABEL-LOOK label is a rage with consumer products companies (CPCs). These companies are driven by the need to differentiate their products and to make them look fresh and unique. And right now, one means to create that unique shelf appeal is coming from clear film labels. "The no-label-look is a way that marketers and end-users [CPCs] can create differentiation to gain market share," says Terce Henriquez, vice president of global label sales for AET Films.
Meeting market needs
The no-label look has captured or is gaining momentum in some key market segments. These include personal care, beverage, and food.
Chris Weir, market development manager for Avery Dennison, Fasson Roll North America, lists personal care as the largest market segment for the no-label look, with beverages coming in second. Of these, however, he sees beverages as the segment with the greatest growth potential.
Part of the momentum he sees building in the beverage category stems from the success of what he calls "new-age" drinks such as Arizona ice tea, Snapple, and Frappucino drinks. But both Weir and Henriquez mention the initiative that Anheuser-Busch has taken with its Bud Light brand as the fuel behind the growth potential in beverages.
Beer in glass bottles has typically been labeled with cold-glue-applied paper labels. Bud Light, which Weir says is the number one selling beer brand in the United States, has been successfully marketed with a clear pressure-sensitive label. With the No. 1 brand leading the way, he expects others to follow.
The clear label has spawned much interest in pressure-sensitive labeling, because as Weir says, it's the "Rolls Royce" of the no-label look—the quality standard that everything is measured against. Pressure-sensitive labeling does have a "marginal cost difference for the labels themselves," says Weir, "but we can now show through case studies that the total applied cost of labeling has delivered increased production capacity at end-user locations. When you take a look at how much it costs to add packaging equipment these days, the savings from efficiency gains far outweigh the marginal additional cost of pressure-sensitive labels."